For many people, buying a home is most likely one of the biggest financial purchases they will ever make in their lifetime. Whether this is your first time to purchase a home or whether you are an experienced buyer, the decision must be made carefully and intelligently.
There are lots of factors to consider when choosing where you want to live in the Houston TX area. One of the biggest for many Houston residents is the commute times. Seriously consider how much time you want to spend driving on the road each day or are you planning on utilizing public transportation. If you have children, or plan to have children in the future, good schools may also be at the top of your list. Many schools are happy to provide information and to give personal tours to prospective parents.
There are literally thousands of neighborhoods in the greater Houston area to choose from and at times it can seem daunting. It is at these times when feeling overwhelmed, having a Realtor really pays off. Our Houston & Surrounding Area Neighborhood Guide can help you learn more about Houston TX. Our communities page has detailed information about each neighborhood and can help you learn more about Houston and surrounding areas.
What are the advantages of using a real estate professional to help me buy a home? Buying a home is certainly one of the most rewarding experiences most of us ever have; it’s also one of the most challenging. If you’re buying for the first time, the process may seem overwhelming. And even if you’ve been through it several times, every move is different and presents new challenges.
One clear advantage of enlisting the help of a sales professional is simply that you don’t have to go through it alone. A good sales professional has the background and skills to help you through each step of the process, and make the experience of finding, buying and moving into your new home as smooth, quick and enjoyable as it can be. Another advantage is that a sales professional represents a valuable source of information about market trends; communities and neighborhoods; and especially homes for sale throughout the area. Remember, not every home seller runs an ad in the local paper or puts a sign up in the yard. In fact, many homes actually sell before there is ever a need to advertise them.
The market expertise a sales professional offers you is augmented by access to complete, regularly updated information about every home listed by area sales professionals through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). As you’ll see in the following questions, such professional expertise and services can be of considerable help throughout the home-buying process.
Below you will find a few questions to ask yourself before you begin your Home Search.
- How do you know whether you’re ready to buy or not?
- How do you know where you want to live?
- Do you know how much you can afford?
- Do you know a Realtor?
- How long will you live or own this home?
Why Do You Want To Buy?
Are you tired of paying rent? Have you decided to pay your own mortgage and not your landlord’s? Have you outgrown your current home? Are you looking for an investment portfolio? Are you looking for a rental property? Would you like a larger yard? Would you rather live in a different area? Do you want to shorten your commute? Having a clear sense of your reasons for buying will help you choose the right property.
Has Your Income Grown?
Property ownership is an excellent investment; whether you are looking for your dream home, a rental property, or to expand your investment portfolio. Owning real estate is one of the least risky ways to build equity or to obtain a greater return on your initial investment.
What Can I Afford?
Determining your budget for your home purchase early on can save you headaches down the road. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage puts you a step ahead in the home buying process. This crucial document will help you decide how much you can spend on a home, and help any offers you make stand out to sellers. Seller’s assume that the buyer that submits an offer accompanied by a pre-approval letter is a serious buyer and has already taken the time to do their homework and has taken the preliminary steps necessary with a lender ultimately showing the seller that the buyer is capable of purchasing a home. It’s also important to consider all the costs of home-ownership when deciding how much you can spend, including insurance, taxes and maintenance. Get more information on our Financing A Houston Home page.
Which Realtor Should I Work With?
Choosing a Realtor to work with is an important step to a successful home purchase. Get recommendations from friends or family. Many people are happy to recommend Realtors with whom they have worked with and they have had good experiences. Interview each potential Realtor to get a good idea of their experience, their personality and what they can offer you- don’t be afraid to ask questions! In the end, choose someone with whom you feel comfortable and someone that gives you confidence in their abilities. TEAM SADLER has the experience of working in Houston and we are experts in the local market. Check out our meet the team page to browse profiles of us and read some of the testimonials from our clients. At TEAM SADLER we are big on continual and opens lines of communication.
How Long Will I Live in This Home?
Purchasing a home is a long-term investment. If there’s a chance you might move in the next year or two, buying may not be the best option for you. Most Realtors and real estate experts recommend staying in a home for five to seven years, or longer. Be sure to factor your future plans into your home buying decision, such as starting a family or changing jobs. These life events can have a big impact on whether or not you choose to buy a home. Get advice from a Realtor you trust. Their knowledge of the market and where it’s headed can help you decide if now is a good time for you to buy.
Buying a home is a huge commitment. Rushing into a home purchase before you are ready can have negative consequences in the future, especially on your finances. Take a good, hard look at the reality of your home buying situation. If you’re not 100% sure you’re ready to buy, consider holding off on purchasing a home. Talk to your Realtor about your doubts. An experienced Realtor can help answer your questions and potentially provide solutions for your concerns.
Visit our Buy A Home In Houston page to get an overview of the home-buying process. If you have any questions about buying a home in or near the Houston TX or Fort Bend County area, please Contact Team Sadler today!
Be Prepared When Shopping For A Home
Bring your own:
- Notebook and pen for note-taking
- Flashlight for seeing enclosed areas
- Tape measure for checking room sizes, clearances, etc.
Be prepared to ask questions and investigate a little. After all, you want to know as much as possible about the home you buy. Sellers understand that because their home is on the market, it will be looked over pretty thoroughly.
If you need to go back to a home for another look, your Team Sadler agent will be happy to schedule an appointment. Also, be sure to ask any questions you have about the home, even if you feel you’re being overly cautious. You have a right to know, and the serious seller will not mind making you feel more confident that you’ve chosen the right house.
What Important Factors to Consider:
The house you ultimately choose to call home will play a major role in your family’s life. A home can be an excellent investment, but more importantly, it should fit the way you live, with spaces and features that appeal to everyone in the family.
Is there enough room for you now and in the near future?
- Is the home’s floor plan right for your family?
- Is there enough storage space?
- Will you have to replace the appliances?
- Is the yard the size that you want?
- Are there enough bathrooms?
- How much maintenance and/or decorating will you need to do right away? Later?
- Will your present furniture work in this home?
How many bedrooms should I be considering?
Whether you are married or not, or have kids or not, spare bedrooms come in handy when family and friends come to stay. And when you’re not having guests, extra rooms are useful as a library, den, or TV room.
Another good reason to choose a home with extra bedrooms: extra space will make your home more appealing to a larger number of interested buyers when it comes time to sell.
Is an older home as good a value as a new home?
It’s a matter of personal preference. Both new and older homes offer distinct advantages, depending upon your unique tastes and lifestyle.
New homes generally have more space in the rooms where today’s families do their living, like a family room or activity area. They’re usually easier to maintain, too.
However, many homes built years ago offer more total space for the money, as well as larger yards. Taxes on some older homes may also be lower.
Some people are charmed by the elegance of an older home, but shy away because they’re concerned about potential maintenance costs. Consider a home warranty to get the peace of mind you deserve. A Home Warranty Service Protection Plan protects you against unexpected repairs on many home systems and appliances for a full year or more after you move in.
What should I ask about each home that I look at?
As a rule of thumb, ask any questions you have about specific rooms, features, or functions. Pay particular attention to areas that you feel could become “problem” ones — additions, defects, areas that have been repaired. And above all, if you don’t feel your question has been answered, ask until you understand and are satisfied.
In most cases, your real estate professional will be able to provide you with detailed information about each home you see. You can also use the Home Features Worksheet in this section to note room sizes, features that need a second look, and other comments.
What should I tell my Realtor about the homes I look at?
Tell the sales professional everything you like and don’t like about each home you see. Don’t be shy about discussing a home’s shortcomings. Is the home too small for your needs? Let the sales professional know. Was the home perfect except for the carpeting? Let the sales professional know.
However, remember that there can be two types of sales professionals involved in a real estate transaction; those working for the buyer, and, frequently, those paid by and working for the seller. The seller’s agent is obligated to help secure the best price for the seller. In addition, seller’s agents may also report any confidences you share with them — including any willingness to pay a higher price should the seller not accept your initial offer(s). This is why you may want to be represented by a buyer’s agent, because he/she will keep your input confidential. A buyer’s agent puts the interests of the buyer — not the seller — first.
How many homes should I look at before I buy?
There is no set number of homes you should look at before you decide to make an offer on one. That’s why providing the sales professional with as many details as possible up front is so helpful. The perfect home may be waiting for you on your first visit. Even if it isn’t, the house-hunting process will help you get a feeling for the homes in the community and narrow your choices to a few homes that are worth a second look.
If you’re looking in more than one community, try to make the most of each house-hunting trip. Stop by the local Chamber of Commerce to pick up promotional literature about the community or ask the sales professional for welcome kits, maps, and information about schools, houses of worship, and recreational facilities. Also, be sure to take along a camera and snap some pictures of all the homes you’re interested in. That will make it easier to remember and reach a final decision.
House Hunting Tips:
When you find a home you may be interested in buying, make sure your Team Sadler Realtor asks the owner the following questions:
- How much money do you pay for monthly utilities?
- Have you had any problems with the foundation or structural issues?
- Are there any known defects or problem areas that need to be fixed right away?
- How old is the furnace and the central air conditioning system (HVAC)?
- How old is the roof? Have you experienced any leaking? Have there been any hail or wind storms?
- How much are HOA fees?